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August 2014. Professor Michael Hsiao became the most recent CESCA Director! The following is his brief about being the new director.
I’m honored to have this opportunity to serve as CESCA Director over the next couple of years. I’m humbled to take the baton after the excellent work of the previous CESCA directors, Prof. Dong Ha, Prof. Sandeep Shukla, and most recently Prof. Patrick Schaumont. They have devoted much energy and time to shape CESCA into what it is today. I count myself fortunate to have their footsteps to follow.
The many fruits of CESCA have resulted from the dedication of its faculty members and students. CESCA has been an incubator of rising talent. For example, it has bred 7 NSF CAREER Awards, a noteworthy accomplishment that speaks to the very core of the dedication of its faculty. The faculty members’ successes are not possible without the research students’ creative work. Every new discovery and each innovation are the reasons we come to work every day. While the publications and grants are great, the students that we graduate are the most satisfying deliverables!
I plan to continue the good work that my predecessors have started. I hope that I may help each CESCA member reach their next goal during my time as director. With your support, I believe we can take CESCA to the next level. As such, I firmly believe the best days of CESCA are yet to come!
Update! Dr. Haibo Zeng's bio page has been published.
August 2014. Dr. Haibo Zeng joins CESCA in Fall 2014 as an assistant professor of Bradley Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from University of California at Berkeley, and B.E. and M.E. in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. He was a senior researcher at General Motors R&D until October 2011, and an assistant professor at McGill University, Canada until August 2014. His research interests are embedded systems, cyber-physical systems, and real-time systems, with three best paper awards in the above fields.
Welcome to CESCA, Dr. Zeng !
July 2014. CESCA Director Patrick Schaumont’s collaboration with Intel was recently featured in the Intel® Software Academic Program. Dr. Schaumont’s work on cryptographic engineering and computer security is being supported in part through an academic and research partnership with Intel. As an Intel® Academic partner, the ECE department has access to a broad portfolio of technical and academic support, such as Intel’s most-advanced technology for security engineering courses and research. Forums for intercollegiate collaboration are also available to researchers at the ECE department. Through the Intel® Academic Software Program, Dr. Schaumont has access to the most current software and hardware to teach, conduct his research, and access to collaborators from within Intel on the latest advancements in the field of cryptography and computer engineering.
Please check a 2-page brochure about the Intel® Software Academic Program with Virginia Tech for more information.
“Securing a partnership between Intel® and the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech"
May 2014. A CESCA faculty member and Associate Professor Jung-Min "Jerry" Park was named the College of Engineering Faculty Fellow. For additional information, please check the news announcement about the College of Engineering Dean's Awards for Excellence on the College of Engineering website.
Congratulations to Dr. Park !
May 2014. The following students have graduated in Spring 2014.
May 2014. The following students will take an internship during Summer 2014.
May 2014. The Cornell Cup sponsored by Intel is a yearly competition organized by the Systems Engineering group at Cornell University. This year 33 teams participated in the competition, including Team Envision from Virginia Tech. Through a rigorous judging process, the top entries are selected. This year, the first, second and third places went to teams from WPI, Portland State, and Penn State, respectively.
Team Envision was recognized, along with 7 other teams, with honorable mention. Congratulations to all winning teams!
The Cornell Cup posted a video which highlights the event. Team Envision appears right at the start. Video
The Interactive Vision Assistant (IVA) is a tool to support the visually impaired with enhanced sensing and proactive feedback. Developed by five ECE graduate students, IVA performs face recognition using built-in image processing. IVA can also provide auditive instructions, such as directions or weather information, and it can detect obstacles in a user's path.
April 2014. The fifth annual CESCA Day was held on April 19. This year, for the first time, CESCA Day was held at an off-campus location near the scenic marina of Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin, VA.
The day consisted of research presentations, poster sessions, and other events. The welcoming remarks were given by Dr. Patrick Schaumont and Dr. Luke Lester, the ECE Department Head. Dr. Lester emphasized the importance of research centers as a model for academic excellence in a fast-paced, complex research environment such as the one required for embedded systems.
The keynote address was provided by Professor Marilyn Wolf, the Rhesa "Ray" S. Farmer Distinguished Chair of Embedded Computing Systems and Professor in School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Wolf reviewed her work in Smart Camera’s and offered a long-term perspective on the evolution of embedded systems and embedded systems design. She highlighted design of cyber-physical systems as one of the major upcoming challenges in embedded systems design.
The students in CESCA presented their research results through poster and oral presentations (2-minute Elevator Talks, presentations with slides). More than 34 high-quality posters covered a broad range of areas. These covered applications such as software radio, remote canopy detection and wireless location privacy. In design methods, the posters discussed correctness and verification of concurrent software, complex hardware IP’s and compliance of design specifications. In design and technologies, the posters reviewed hardware security and cryptographic engineering applications, low power design, and low-cost design.
During lunch, Dr. Nazhandali presented a thoughtful perspective on research success and happiness, and illustrated the key points of her talk by curating sections of several TED talks.
As one of the high points of CESCA Day, CESCA Awards were given to several graduate students. Dr. Park served as Award Chair and voting referee. CESCA faculty recognized those students’ academic excellence in three categories.
CESCA Outstanding Student Award (2 awards): Sarvesh Prabhu (Advisor: Hsiao) and Bo Gao (Advisors: Park and Yang)
Each for having five or more first-authored, peer-reviewed conference or journal papers published by CESCA Day 2014
CESCA Best Presentation Award: Nahid Farhady Ghalaty (Advisor: Schaumont)
for the presentation “Differential Fault Intensity Analysis Analyzing and Eliminating the Causes of Fault Sensitivity Analysis”
CESCA Best Poster Award: Aydin Aysu (Advisor: Schaumont)
for the poster “Design Dimensions for Secure Embedded Systems”
Please go to the CESCA Awards page for more information about the award criteria and qualifications.
Congratulations to Sarvesh, Bo, Nahid, and Aydin!
March 2014. A new research video “Energy Harvested Secured Wireless Sensor Node” has been posted on the CESCA Project Videos page. Graduate students Deepak Mane and Krishna Pabbuleti and CESCA Director Patrick Schaumont at Secure Embedded Systems lab designed and developed a prototype for an autonomous, self-powered wireless sensor node, which can harvest energy from ambient sources.
The sensor node consists of an MSP430, a low-power 8-bit microcontroller from TI which runs the signature algorithms and a 2.4GHz RF transceiver for communicating with the central server. The system harvests its energy from a solar panel and stores it in a super-capacitor. Energy harvesting and system power supply are managed by a custom-built IC from Anagear. Energy measurement infrastructure is also integrated in the system which can be used to measure the amount of energy consumed for computation and communication for different algorithms.
Please check the upcoming CESCA Newsletter for more details about their research and experiment setup.
January 2014. Team Envision is making progress! This student-oriented team has been building an Interactive Vision Assistant “IVA” for visually impaired people to navigate around. The team members are: Preethi Gopalakrishnan, Rubasri Kalidas, Clint Solomon Mathialagan, Pujita Raman, and Adithya Venkatramanan.
The team recently posted a video of their IVA running a dynamic face-recognition algorithm using OpenCV. Check the result at “IVA in action!” at: http://blogs.cornell.edu/cornellcup2014envision/2014/01/17/iva-in-action/#more-10
Support Team Envision by voting for them on the blog survey at: http://www.systemseng.cornell.edu/engineering2/se/intel/news/blogsurvey.cfm (“Team Envision” is listed as the 8th team from the bottom of the page in alphabetical order)
For more information about IVA and Team Envision, please contact Patrick Schaumont, the faculty advisor for the team.
Related article: “CESCA Graduate Students are competing 2014 Cornell Cup USA” (November 2013)
December 2013. Congratulations to the following students who will be graduating in Fall 2013!
November 2013. Five master-level graduate students are one of the 30 selected finalist teams to compete the 2014 Cornell Cup USA, a popular college-level embedded design completion. The 5 students are: Preethi Gopalakrishnan (Computer Engineering), Rubasri Kalidas (Computer Engineering), Clint Solomon Mathialagan (Computer Engineering), Pujita Raman (Electrical Engineering), and Adithya Venkatramanan (Computer Engineering).
The five students, who are assembled under the name Team Envision, intend to implement an Interactive Vision Assistant, a device that supports the blind in navigating, understanding, and interacting with the surroundings. The selected platform for IVA is the Intel DE2i-150 FPGA kit, a platform that combines an ATOM CPU with an Altera FPGA. The team plans to extend this kit with additional sensing capabilities and software to support the objectives of the IVA. The team's academic advisor is Patrick Schaumont, CESCA Director.
The Cornell Cup was created to empower student teams to become the inventors of the newest innovative applications of embedded technology. At the finals scheduled in May 2014 at the Walt Disney World ® Resort, top three finalist entries will be awarded the grand prizes set at $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500.
For more information about how Team Envision is progressing, please contact Patrick Schaumont, the faculty advisor for the team.
October 2013. Hassan Eldib, a Ph.D. Candidate, and his advisor and one of the CESCA faculty members Chao Wang received the 2013 Best paper Award at the Formal Methods in Computer-Aided Design (FMCAD) conference for their paper “An SMT Based Method for Optimizing Arithmetic Computations in Embedded Software Code.”
According to the award announcement, their paper “…tackles a very interesting problem, namely the optimization of control software manipulating fixed-point integer data, and presents an innovative and scalable solution based on the use of SMT solvers and inductive synthesis procedures.” The announcement also mentioned that the paper “…has received strong support in review process.”
Congratulations Hassan and Dr. Wang for the Best Paper award!
September 2013. Dr. Leyla Nazhandali, one of the CESCA faculty members, has been recognized as Teacher of the Week by the Virginia Tech The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER). She was recognized for her innovative teaching methods that stimulate active participation from students, and for original outreach to attract high school students to the computer engineering curriculum.
Congratulations, Dr. Nazhandali !
August 2013. CESCA Faculty member Jung-Min "Jerry" Park and CESCA Director Patrick Schaumont were recently awarded for a new 4-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to enable novel security technology for shared communication spectrum superhighways. A main goal is to make trustworthy spectrum sharing technically and economically viable. Park is the PI for this collaborative project with two other professors from the economics field.
May 2013. The following students have graduated in Spring 2013.
May 2013. The following students will take an internship during Summer 2013.
May 2013. Dr. Chao Wang, one of the CESCA faculty members, was featured on the Virginia Tech College of Engineering website about his award of the Office Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program (YIP) grant. The YIP grant is the most prestigious one by ONR for faculty members early in their career. The grant is to develop methods and software tools that can detect security vulnerabilities in concurrent software that runs on a modern multi-core computer.
April 2013. Dr. Yaling Yang, one of the CESCA faculty members, has been recognized as Scholar of the Week by the Virginia Tech Office of the Vice President for Research. She was recognized for her work with wireless network modeling, design, and security.
Please read more descriptions about her accomplishments and current projects on her Scholar of the Week page at the Office of the VP of Research site.
Congratulations, Dr. Yang !
April 2013. The CESCA Students Award winners were announced during the CESCA Day on April 20, 2013. The awardees are:
CESCA Best Presentation Award: Aydin Aysu
for the presentation 'Low-Cost and Area-Efficient FPGA Implementations for Lattice-Based Cryptography'
CESCA Day Best Poster Award: Rashmi Moudgil
for the poster 'A Statistical and Circuit-based Technique for Detection of Counterfeits in Existing ICs'
CESCA Outstanding Service Award: Mahesh Nanjundappa
for outstanding service to the recording and postprocessing of digital videos of CESCA Activities
Please go to the CESCA Awards page for more information about the award criteria and qualifications.
Congratulations to Meeta, Behnam, Aydin, Rashmi, and Mahesh !
April 2013. Two CESCA faculty members recently received awards from College of Engineering. CESCA Director and Associate Professor Patrick Schaumont was named the College of Engineering Faculty Fellow, and Assistant Professor Chao Wang was named the Outstanding New Assistant Professor from College of Engineering. Additional information is available under the March - April 2013 section of the ECE News.
Congratulations to Dr. Schaumont and Dr. Wang !
March 2013. CESCA hosted its first “CESCA Research Day”, research symposium on Embedded Security at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington on March 15, 2013. Approximately 25 designers and managers from industry, government organizations, academia, and research labs attended the full-day symposium to learn about leading-edge research and development related to secure and embedded systems and to network with faculty, students and other professionals who have similar interests.
CESCA Director Patrick Schaumont welcomed the attendees, followed by Charles Clancy, associate professor and director of the Hume Center, who talked about research directions in security. Three morning research sessions covered the topics of secure design, applications, and secure design methods. Brief overview of the research work was presented by all 7 CESCA faculty members: Professor Michael Hsiao; Associate Professors Lynn Abbott, Leyla Nazhandali, Patrick Schaumont, Jerry Park, and Yaling Yang; and Assistant Professor Chao Wang. Between the research sessions, 8 Ph.D. students from CESCA (Aydin Aysu, Avinash Desai, Zhenhe Pan, Sarvesh Prabhu, Meeta Srivastav, Ting Wang, Lu Zhang) presented their work through poster and demonstration sessions.
After lunch, attending companies introduced themselves to the students for internship and employment opportunities. Because all sessions were also simulcast to Blacksburg, CESCA students in Blacksburg were able to follow those presentations. Participants were then offered 4 parallel tutorial sessions from which to choose: Introduction to Side Channel Analysis; Software Testing and Verification; Physically Unclonable Functions; and Wireless Security.
The website of the Research Day hosts videos as well as slides of the presentations. With this outreach event, CESCA has forged valuable relationships with the participants. CESCA is especially interested into attracting partners to its Industry Affiliate Program, and encourages companies with a stake in critical embedded systems design to contact us.
More information about CESCA Research Day on VT News is available here.